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Environmental Coalition of South Seattle 

Description

Founded in 1994, ECOSS has provided free education, resources and technical assistance to diverse regional businesses, multicultural communities, individuals and governments to promote opportunities to achieve a healthy environment and encourage urban redevelopment. As a result of our work, we have been recognized at the local, state and national level for our continued commitment to creating cohesion between groups with diverse interests in the pursuit of a common goal a thriving community.

In 1999, ECOSS expanded its services to non-native English speaking populations in and around the city of Seattle, a group traditionally underserved in terms of access to environmental health information and resources. The ECOSS Multi-Cultural Outreach Team made up of a diverse set of native- and non-native-English speakers representing most (if not all) of the major cultural communities within the region, has accomplished what few other environmental organizations could claim: providing relevant, much-needed environmental assistance and culturally competent education to diverse communities.

Mission Statement
ECOSS is a nonprofit organization that encourages urban redevelopment and a healthy environment by providing education, resources and technical assistance to diverse businesses and communities in the Puget Sound region.
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Environmental Coalition of South Seattle
8201 10th Ave S 
Seattle 
WA
98108-4449 
(206) 767-0432 

Kevin Burrell 
Executive Director 

Programs

Environmental Coalition of South Seattle Programs

ECOSS is unique in serving a diverse spectrum of the community from small and mid-size businesses, individual homeowners, refugee and immigrant communities and the South Park Neighborhood of South Seattle.

All of the work that we do revolves around working together to create a cleaner, healthier and economically thriving Puget Sound. 

ECOSS divides its work into three key areas to accomplish this vision, each area consists of unique strategies, activities and goals.

Through our work we hope to see the following changes:

For Business
  • Clients integrate sustainable practices into day to day operations and long-term business plans.
  • Businesses reduce their carbon emissions, waste tonnage, water and energy use.
  • Businesses prevent stormwater pollution by implementing stormwater plans and training staff.  
For Home
  • Immigrant and refugee individuals and families reached by our Multi-Cultural Outreach Team are educated and made aware of environmental toxic hazards present in homes, businesses and the surrounding environment.
  • A reduction in health disparities due to environmental factors amongst low-income and new immigrant populations in the Puget Sound region.
  • Low-income communities are reached through our Powerful Neighborhoods outreach efforts, resulting in energy and water conservation behavior changes and adoption of green practices.  
For Community
  • ECOSS will assist in the development of a healthy and vibrant South Park community and business district.
  • Work with communities and partners to redevelop brownfield sites throughout King County.
  • Steward volunteer and community building projects that make South Park a better place to live, work and play.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

Recent Successes
In 2010-2011, the multi-cultural outreach team reached more than 11,000 individuals. Providing underserved communities with the education and resources that will yield immediate benefits. Some program highlights have included:

East African Childcare Provider Workshops
Community workshops covered identifying possible toxic threats, effects on children’s health and healthy options and resources for replacing toys and supplies.  More than sixty East African women attended, and for most it was the first time they had been educated on environmental risks and hazards.

Healthy Vietnamese Nail Salons
The program trained hundreds of salon owners and nail technicians as well as beauty school students who are seeking employment in the industry about toxic hazards associated with the industry and how to prevent exposure.

Lower Duwamish Superfund Site Education
In fall 2010, ECOSS conducted outreach to more than 1,000 recent immigrant and refugee residents of South Seattle and King County to inform them of the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund site and the risks associated with eating resident seafood and shellfish from the contaminated site.

Powerful Neighborhoods
2010-2011, ECOSS staff assisted over 10,000 residents in Seattle to install energy & water conservation equipment in homes. Over 50% of residents served represent minority and recent immigrant communities that speak at least 13 languages other than English. 

Evaluation


Environmental Coalition of South Seattle (ECOSS) has developed a niche in delivering environmental education to targeted audiences who otherwise would not likely receive this information. ECOSS is highly regarded for its work with the diverse communities of South Seattle, and has staff and Board reflective of these diverse constituencies.

Accessibility & Cultural Competency
The ECOSS For Home Program works directly with diverse communities to help them understand energy efficiency, green cleaning and water conservation. Many immigrant and refugee residents are still learning English and purchase most of their cleaning products based on what they see on television. ECOSS is able to speak to these groups in their own language to show them how they can make cleaner, safer and more affordable choices for their home.

Collaboration
Founded initially to work with communities in South Park, ECOSS now has programs throughout central Puget Sound and routinely partners with government agencies, ethnicity-based groups and social service organizations. As part of the GrowSeattle partnership with Seattle’s Office of Economic Development, enterpriseSeattle and others, ECOSS uses its strength of services to assist over 200 businesses in exploring and adopting sustainable practices.

Proven Success
In 2007 ECOSS received a multi-year grant from the EPA to improve working conditions in the Vietnamese nail salons in South Seattle. The program has been successfully training workers and owners of these salons on ways to reduce chemical exposure to their employees.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

DateAmountPurpose
3/10/2012 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
6/26/2008 $15,000.00support general operating expenses.

Financials

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